A cuckoo identified as PJ has lastly returned residence to his breeding grounds in Suffolk after finishing his fifth migration and taking his complete mileage to a staggering 50,000 miles.

In 2016, he was caught and equipped with a satellite tag which allows scientists observe his movements.

Like all cuckoos – famed as the harbinger of spring – he spends the winter in the warmth of Africa and migrates to access Britain in April to breed.

The tracker reveals that PJ has now arrived in Suffolk, earning him a file breaker in the British Rely on for Ornithology (BTO) venture which has seen dozens of cuckoos equipped with tags considering the fact that 2011.

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A cuckoo called PJ has finally returned home to his breeding grounds in Suffolk after completing a staggering 50,000-mile-journey that saw him cross the Sahara desert ten times

A cuckoo called PJ has finally returned home to his breeding grounds in Suffolk soon after finishing a staggering 50,000-mile-journey that observed him cross the Sahara desert ten periods


Position: Active

Tagged: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – 06:00

Tagging Area: King’s Forest, Suffolk, England

Sexual intercourse: Male

Age when located: 2nd-year 

Wing Duration (mm): 225

The BTO explained: ‘His arrival back in King’s Forest, Suffolk, sees him finish his fifth yearly migration cycle to, from and within just Africa because he was tagged, amassing a distance travelled of very well about 50,000 miles and earning him the only satellite tagged Cuckoo to have achieved this given that the undertaking began in 2011. 

‘During this time he has crossed the Sahara desert 10 occasions on your own, not counting all of his sea crossings and navigating the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the Pyrenees on the Spanish-French border.

‘PJ was 1 12 months previous when tagged, so this summer time he will be 6 decades outdated, taking him to in just a yr of the British longevity file for a ringed cuckoo, which stands at six decades and eleven months for a fowl observed dead in 1983.’

Male cuckoos get there in mid-April and are only here for a couple of weeks. 

In June or July, right after obtaining as numerous women as doable to mate with, the they fly back again to Africa.

The tracker shows that PJ has now arrived in Suffolk, making him a record breaker in the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) project which has seen dozens of cuckoos fitted with tags since 2011

The tracker shows that PJ has now arrived in Suffolk, creating him a document breaker in the British Have faith in for Ornithology (BTO) challenge which has witnessed dozens of cuckoos equipped with tags given that 2011

Then next April they’ll be again once again to commence the breeding cycle all around again.

The BTO mentioned cuckoos are in drop, introducing: ‘It’s a journey so entire of hazards that it really is constantly a relief when they get again to Britain every spring, no make a difference how quick or slow.

‘These cuckoos have taught us so significantly about their lives, giving answers but also raising a lot more queries as to what could possibly be at the rear of their decrease.’


The British Belief for Ornithology started off tagging cuckoos in 2011 to recognize why we’ve lost around fifty percent the amount of cuckoos in the British isles around the previous 20 decades. 

The tags have uncovered heaps of crucial data, these as  how the diverse routes taken are joined to declines, and some of the pressures they encounter even though on migration.

BTO is now wanting additional closely at how dependent they are on, and how a great deal their migration is linked, to the drought-busting rains of the climate frontal program regarded as the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as they move out of the Congo rainforest and start out to head back again to the British isles by using West Africa.

Resource: British Rely on for Ornithology

Cuckoos, swallows, household martins and swifts are amid dozens of species which devote summer here to lay eggs and rear their youthful, but migrate to Africa for the winter season.

The BTO released the tagging challenge to come across what is resulting in the decline of the cuckoo populace.

We have lost around two-thirds of our breeding cuckoos in the Uk as a full and pretty much 3-quarters of them in England through the past 23 several years, in accordance to the team.

Dr Chris Hewson, lead scientist on the BTO project, claimed: ‘We have been avidly monitoring PJ considering the fact that he commenced his journey back again to the United kingdom from Africa in late February, prepared him to total the journey.

‘We can now heave a substantial sigh of reduction knowing he is properly again in Suffolk but of program, much more than that I appear forward to seeking much more closely at the information and facts he has specified us.

‘He is an amazing and unusual cuckoo – they ordinarily migrate to Africa by means of possibly Spain or Italy and continue to keep to the similar route every year.

‘But PJ has used each routes, and one particular in concerning, over the five many years and in actuality final autumn he stopped in both equally Spain and Italy!

‘Perhaps this flexibility has assisted him survive so nicely, enabling him to escape undesirable disorders on one particular route and discover greater ailments on the other?’

PJ was one year old when tagged, so this summer he will be six years old, taking him to within a year of the British longevity record for a ringed cuckoo

PJ was one calendar year previous when tagged, so this summer season he will be six decades old, getting him to within just a year of the British longevity report for a ringed cuckoo

Once a cuckoo has been fitted with a satellite tag and unveiled it begins delivering data straight absent, permitting scientists to ascertain how effectively the birds fare no subject where they go.

Anyone can comply with them via the BTO web page in in close proximity to serious time.

This spring. the BTO will be tagging 12 far more cuckoos and you can abide by them at www.bto.org/cuckoos. 

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